Since we pretty much live in deer central, deer ticks and the possibility of Lyme disease are real concerns whenever you or your pet is trekking outdoors. But this year, you may be inadvertently ushering the buggers into your home. Yeah, there could totally be ticks in your Christmas tree, especially if you bought local.
This has never in my memory come up as a concern before, but we’ve been having consistently unseasonably warm weather so far this season. While that’s great for extending your fall wardrobe, eating lunch outside and lowering your power bill, it’s also great for keeping ticks alive. Ticks don’t hibernate until temps start dipping to 40 degrees and below and staying there.
You probably haven’t given much thought to it— I know I never did until things starting hatching one fateful year— but there are plenty of other bugs that can hitch a ride on your tree, even when the temperatures are appropriately cold. They’ll just emerge once you take them into your nice warm house.
Yes, I realize the whole point of the Christmas tree is to bring a piece of nature indoors, but there are limits to my hospitality.
How best to avoid bringing in the creepy crawlies along with your evergreen holiday cheer? Shake the bejeezus out of your tree to dislodge any eggs or nests or whatever before you bring it in your house. As an extra precaution, you can give it a nice powerwash with your garden hose and let it dry. And if you were out in the fields choosing a tree, you might want to check yourself for ticks while you’re at it.
Please don’t think I’m discouraging you from buying from local tree farms; they are a great, sustainable way to buy a Christmas tree. Also don’t be deterred from getting out into nature while this great weather lasts! Just be aware that ticks are a lingering problem this year and be vigilant about checking yourself, your pets… and your tree.